Saturday, November 04, 2006

We have no pope!

True to form, the liberal media, as well as secular bloggers, are puffing the story of Ted Haggard’s downfall.

How significant is this scandal? Well, it’s significant to Haggard. It’s significant to the members of his family. It’s significant to his personal friends. And it’s significant to the members of his megachurch.

Beyond that, it’s of absolutely no objective significance whatsoever.

Haggard is not the pope. The NAE is not the Magisterium. And New Life Church is not the Vatican.

Pundits make a big deal about the fact that he was, just before his resignation, president of the “30-million” member NAE.

Honestly, folks, how many Evangelicals pay the slightest attention to the NAE? Do you go to the NAE website for moral and theological guidance?

Did you ever vote for Haggard? I know I didn’t.

He’s completely irrelevant to my life, and I daresay he’s completely irrelevant to yours as well.

Haggard is not my pastor. Or elected representative.

As a graduate of ORU, Haggard is hardly the first guy I’d turn to for theological advice.

As a Christian, I only have one representative, and that’s the Lord Jesus Christ.

The downfall of Haggard is only significant if we allow the enemies of the gospel and the chattering classes to assign it a wholly artificial significance and foist that upon the rest of us. If we permit them to redefine us.

The media is addicted to the cult of celebrity and the cult of personality. And they are welcome to their infatuations and soap opera scandals.

But don’t try to impose your silly values on me.

Haggard is simply someone who’s well-known for being well-known. Haggard’s inner demons are no more important than J-Lo’s love-life.

Save it for the National Inquirer, alongside the three-headed baby, alien abductee, weeping Madonna, and Elvis-sighting du jour.


  1. Steve Jackson11/04/2006 10:12 AM

    This seems to be a rather common pattern for the media. The missteps of particular conservatives (even ones you haven't heard of) are somehow profoundly connected to the conservative movement.

    If the head of the National Council of Churches did something stupid would that get anywhere near the attention this got? If he were spotted witnessing to an unbeliever about Jesus, would he be accused of hypocrisy?

    In fact, democrats are perfectly free to campaign with Ted Kennedy, Al Sharpton and Bill Clinton and are never asked about Tawany Brawley, Chappaquiddick or Monica L.

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  3. The Red Rocker11/04/2006 11:23 AM

    Another creepy gay narc. Why hang out with any gay people? They'll just narc on you.

  4. Steve Jackson11/04/2006 11:42 AM

    I don't think anyone is excuing bad behavior or bad theology, just trying to put it in perspective.

  5. Berny said:
    But if you say that the American media is obsessed with celebrity, then that means that the American people are as well. The media just feeds our appetite to build up figures and to knock them down.

    And if this is the case, then it certainly seems significant. Not just to Haggard's family, friends, and congregants, but to "fence-riders" everywhere, who are looking to see whether or not Christianity works in the private life of a pastor and not just on his Sunday platform and pulpit.


    Yes, but we need to challenge the irrelevance of their criteria.

  6. I'd also question the assumption that TV producers know what the public wants. Every year, dozens of new TV shows are cancelled. TV producers don't have a clue about what the public wants.

    In addition, TV producers front an ideological agenda, even at the expense of ratings.

    Finally, TV producers are out of touch because they associate with like-minded members of their own subculture.

    TV producers imitating other TV producers.

    They assume that the general public is interested in whatever they find interesting.

    This is not to deny that there's a public appetite for some of this fare. But what percentage?

  7. Outstanding post. I especially enjoyed the following observation:

    Haggard is simply someone who’s well-known for being well-known. Haggard’s inner demons are no more important than J-Lo’s love-life.

    Right on.

  8. I'd never heard of this Haggard chap. To be honest, when I read Haggard, the first thing I thought of was the man who wrote 'King Solomon's Mines.'

    But on a more serious note, the media are indeed both idol makers and iconoclasts. The celebrity, like the Saturnalian king, is created in the sure and certain knowledge that he will be slain.

    And, quite frankly, the sort of society that does this makes me sick. So what if it's 'what the people want'. We seem to be forgetting that in Rome the people wanted murder as entertainment.

    Away with celebrities, be they supposedly Christian or no. Where are the heroes? But, above all, let the word of the true Pastor be those of George Whitefield: 'Let the Name of Whitefield perish, but let the name of God be exalted over all!'

  9. Randy jackson11/05/2006 5:59 PM

    I love seeing examples like this...of the 'changed Christian.'


    Christians are just the same as anybody else...except for their particular delusional views.

  10. Friedrich Foresight11/05/2006 6:26 PM

    Point of pedantic detail...

    If by "pope" you mean "a leader in authority whose doctrinal errors or personal flaws are admissible as evidence against the religion he represents", then Roman Catholics don't have a pope either. Any RC will explain to you that the pople's authority and infallibility is not impaired by his personal faults, or even by manifest errors in the reasoning by which he reached his conclusions.

    If a Pope is an admirable individual, like John XXIII, John Paul II, or Ratzinger, RCs will seize on that to prove that Catholicism is true. OTOH, the fact of Borgia popes in no way goes to show that Catholicism is not true. The ratchet runs one way only.

    Of course, they apply a rather different yardstick to Protestant church leaders.